Relentless Mutation

At the frontiers of metal, and probably beyond that, resides Archspire’s dizzying precision. Here compositions proceed in convulsive strides of synchronized riff–drums and robotic vocals, stepping from one atypical rhythm to another. Abruptly switching to varying palates — from “Sound of Perseverance” like scathing guitar harmonies, to math rock signatures. But everything strung together into a seamless train, almost propelling at this dissonant pace and agility.

Drum patterns on the title track — every single beat astonishingly audible and precise, pretty much illustrates this measured approach to compositions. Even though rooted in the ‘Effigy of the Forgotten’ like riffs, those dialed down hardcore-punk influences make the band more symphonic, in a classical music sense. So, quite akin to a brutal-math-metal orchestra, with novel and yet coherent influences, Archspire is well into that inimitable territory.

 

Effigy of the Forgotten

Couple of days ago it was Slayer, now it’s Suffocation. 8th October marks 27th year of “Effigy of the Forgotten” – the first full-length release from these NY brutal death titans.

As expected, the debut is rife with jarring temporal switches, blistering harmonies and precision drums. Suffocation’s craft here is insane and immaculate. From “Liege of Inveracity” to “Jesus Wept”, the album is a pursuit of deathly perfection. Brutal and relentless, both in terms of guttural vocals and complexity, it simply razes all the barriers to the emergence of technical death.

If Tampa and Stockholm scene introduced the framework, Suffocation took an axe to it with their brand of restrained, but even more gruesome, assault. Building on top of Immolation, the band introduced layers of sophistication to that unbridled madness of old-school death. All the electric blues hues were now completely subdued, and comfortably buried beneath broad downtuned riffs and incessant double bass. Both typically advancing in tandem, like a grand symphony. Quite reminiscent of later era Morbid Angel.

Undoubtedly, evolution tends to be incremental, and Suffocation is a vital link leading to technical death. Quite like any other searing metal classic, Effigy of the Forgotten is something all the extreme music fans should endure.

 

—- Image Attribution

© pitpony photography /

Black Seeds of Vengeance

Nile rumbles — “The scourge of Amalek is upon you” – hardly a hyperbole. These South Carolinians construct some of the most sinister patterns known to man. 180 beats per minute blast beats, brutal growls and Middle Eastern influences — all weaved into an intricately vicious arrangement. Drawing from their illustrious Florida death contemporaries, Nile crafts a truly ravishing Egyptian dissonance — a sonic intensity unparalled in metal. Here, the assault patterns are uniquely recognizable and atmospheric, a rarity within this lineage.

Egyptian chants and not so poetic gruesome mythology – “Horus hammereth them. Nepthys hacketh them to bits. The eye of Ra eateth into their faces. Their carcasses will be consumed in the desert”. Guttural growls, sharp temporal variations, and ruthless bass lines – all peacefully coexisting with electrifying guitar melodies. With these rich layered signatures, Karl Sanders effortlessly heaves the listener into an enchanting extreme terrain.

Image Attribution:

By Alexandre Cardoso (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_8503) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons